A Strange Little Party
Written by Adela Skowronski
Anyone who has ever listened to the 8-bit crEEps knows that the band is a throwback jam from another dimension. The 4 piece rock band - consisting of guitarist + frontman Mick Kong, bassist J. Bird James, drummer Joey Charch and synth master Ginger Glitch - has all of the catchy rock riffs of a modern, tech-savy group with the nostalgia of the 80s. Their recently released 3rd Ep, A Strange Little Party, shows the band fully embracing their roots with an homage to summer nights.
From the get go, 8-bit crEEps get to work on giving the listener those 80's feels: the opening track screams Talking Heads with its layers of synth and fuzz guitar. It's a danceable summer jam with guts, similar to most of the other tracks you can find on the EP. Perfect Teeth adds some Brit pop flare with its leading guitar lick; my personal favorite, Who You Know, simultaneously juxtaposes Kong's soft vibrato + harsh soaring vocals while poking fun at the (at times) obsessive networking mentality behind many industry leaders.
Another powerful song on 8-bit's new release is the tantalizing, yet confusing, I hate driving cars (part II). Structurally speaking, this song is one of the EP's most interesting. It's got beautiful melodies (initially introduced by the bass) and spacious interplay of guitar + synth, painting a dark, spacious landscape.... then explodes in a rush of fuzz pedals near the end of the song. It's a wonderfully crafted tune.
Yet this track ultimately reminds us that A Strange Little Party is still just a sampler of 8-bit's full sound. The title track, and most of the others, set up the listener for a party mesh of Muse rock, 80s, and danceable sounds. I hate driving cars (part ii)....does not: for listeners running through the whole EP, it feels a bit out of place in that landscape. I'm glad that the band decided to keep the tune on the EP though - it's a different side of them that is new, and would add depth in a longer project, like perhaps an eventual album.
All in all, solid new release from this Chicago band. Stream the full EP on Bandcamp.